Monday, August 31, 2009

When did this happen?!

Playmaker's first day of school - 2009

This new book bag was up there on her list of reasons why she was excited to start school again :) The coat too...Strike was away for a few days recently so Playmaker & I enjoyed some one on one time together. We went shopping & I bought her this jacket. She doesn't ask for much - & didn't need much in the way of school clothes. I like its timeless/classic look - & the charcoal grey color & how pretty she looks in it. She didn't wear it today - but she put in on before she left for school so I could get this pic. I just cannot believe how grown up she is. I miss her already.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Signs of the time

Yesterday was a sure sign that fall is in the air - rainy. chilly! I even burned a candle to cozy up the place & wore a sweatshirt :) Some other sure signs are:

the sign on my door.
School starts tomorrow!

My corner in my corner of the world is tidy.
Strike's schoolbooks are neatly arranged & all standing tall as
if to say "Pick me first!"

When mum's the word ...
it is yet another sure sign that indeed ...

fall is in the air.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Watched this last night.

In one word: Brutal

Can't say I enjoyed it - but do appreciate the insight & unique perspective it offers on WWII as it illustrates in full color (namely red) the great lengths the U.S. went to protect the Native American soldiers/codetalkers in order to protect "the code" that was never broken during the war. Perhaps the thing I was most "impressed" (for lack of a better word) by was the INCREDIBLY difficult split second life/death decisions (NO "good" options) our men had to make right after another, after another, after another during battle - & how their true colors were revealed in the choices they made at such times. This movie also emphasizes the sickening prejudice against those w/ different skin color/eye shape/heritage, etc. that some soldiers brought w/ them to the battle field & which they held against their fellow brothers in battle --- & how much blood it took to get past it.

I'd rank Windtalkers right up there w/ a couple other favorite movies that detail similar but different circumstances minority soldiers faced during the war as they simultaneously fought two distinctly different battles - one against "friend" & the other against foe - during WWII:


Deep, Scary, Funny


"Everything in excess is opposed to nature."


Let me get this straight...

We're going to pass a health care plan written by a committee head who says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it,signed by a President that also hasn't read it, and who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's nearly broke.

(my note: this next part is the really scary part)

What could possibly go wrong?

Funny :)

(My note: Please keep in mind - it's a JOKE! I hope to make friends here, not lose them :)

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted GEORGE BUSH fishing in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me,can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

George consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, you're approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude."

She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Republican."

"I am," replied George. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you're not any help at all."

George smiled and responded, "You must be an OBAMA Democrat."

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said George, "you don't know where you are or where you are going. You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it's my fault."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Meet the (our!) Nanny

Blogger friends ... I'd like you to meet Katie...aka "our nanny" :) She's a gooood dog.

Katie...these are my blogger friends. They are gooood people :)

We adopted Katie (9-ish) when she was two-ish.

Back then she was a picture of health - nice tight/firm/muscular body... rather intimidating actually! We took her on a trial basis & ran her thru' a wringer of tests. Would she let us bathe her? Would she let us take away her food while she was eating? Would she let our youngest clobber her? etc, etc. - & she passed w/ flying colors!

She's protective by nature ... & there are some people she just does not like...namely skateboarders! And she tells them so!!She can hear em' comin' long before I do - but - Strike & her friend can whiz by on theirs anytime & w/o even looking Katie knows it's "her girl" & won't bark or object in the slightest.
How does she know it's her?!

When Mak (now 200lbs!) joined our family ... she took him under her wing ...even to the point of disciplining & nurturing him - depending on what circumstances dictated at any given time. Mak frequently has ear troubles & she knows when his ears are bothering him! She licks & licks them....almost as if she's massaging them - & often that's our first sign that we need to give him medicine!
How does she know that?!

Nowadays she doesn't move for much of anything - we can't even take her for a walk much past the end of the driveway! You'd think at times she's totally oblivious to her surroundings....but - when she senses something is not quite right
(how does she do that?!) or a stranger is at the door - she is ALL right there!! - between us & them (whoever/whatever it is). While she appears to be "off duty" one moment....she never really is - even for a second! It's as if she's storing up all her energy so she can "be there" .... the next time duty calls :)

I love the sense of security she gives me/us. She hears & senses things I don't & it's almost as if her sole purpose in life is to take care of "her family".

Yesterday Katie went to the vet due to an ever expanding lump on her ear...part of me didn't really want to know what was wrong bc of what I feared it was...but it seems it's likely benign & will go away once her ear infection (which I didn't even realize she had bc she doesn't complain - ever!) is cleared up w/ medication.

(insert BIG sigh of relief here!)

Katie has taught our children SO much!! ( & that, friends, is the subject for a future post :) & I wish she could teach me how to do some of the things that I just cannot figure out how she does! - but it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks :) Looking back, I believe this....

...would have been a much more fitting name for her.

Love.....always protects....

From I Corinthians 13

Monday, August 24, 2009

Can you guess what IT is?

They say "it" is the best medicine. If they could bottle "it" up, I'd ask for a prescription!!

here to see what "it" is ... you'll be glad you did. I can almost guarantee "it"! :)

I certainly feel better having been there & done "it!" today but I wonder if it's possible to overdose.... given the second person's reaction.... she looks as if she might die doing "it".

What a weekend....

The weekend went so fast. I can hardly believe I just kissed my husband good-bye as he headed out to work again.

In a nutshell:

* It's been hot & muggy. * Losta yardwork * Refreshing plunge in our neighbors pool. * "Morning Glory's" 80th Birthday Party! * Was inspired, convicted, challenged & encouraged at church - as usual! * Spokes raced & came in 2nd place! * Strike & a friend & daddy & another friend went fishing. Strike caught her first fish! then a bunch more! * Playmaker was happy. Her best friend/boyfriend was home from vacation & spent the afternoon w/ us * & oh, I almost forgot.... had a near death experience!! (well mb I'm exaggerating a bit!...but Idid see a bright light flash before my eyes!) My husband, our girls, Mak & I went for a walk as a welcome rainshower was winding down...the cool breeze & warm sprinkles were so refreshing!! ... but - things changed abruptly - lightning began striking all around & thunder rumbled - then all of a sudden - one SO VERY close!!! - YIKES .... Strike was so scared she was shaking! By the time we got home we were soaked! & relieved to be there! ... now the neighbors know we're crazy! - the secret is out :)

This is the last week before school starts.

- Strike is trying out for a travel softball team tonight. She's excited!
- Hubby is takin' a few days off work later in the week - yeah! No firm plans but churnin' a few ideas for daytrips around.
- Takin' Katie to the vet....She has a lump on her ear & I have a feeling I'm not gonna wanna hear what the vet has to say...

My battery is dead but I plan to post some pics later :)

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Once upon a time....

Nancy Plays Nurse

Just two storybooks stand out in my memory from my early childhood. One is a Christmas book that I'll save for a Dec. post & the other (above) ..... when I managed to find a picture of the cover (which is actually what I remember most about it), it felt like I was meeting a long lost friend for the first time in a very long time :)

I've wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl. Despite a few places in my story where the plot thickened a bit too much for my liking....I am living my dream(fairytale!) come true. There isn't much that I want, that I don't have - tho' there are still things I haven't done that I'd like to do...

Long story short, I grew up in a neighborhood w/ mostly boys. Played army a lot. Was always the nurse. Often got a new nurse kit for Christmas. My patients loved my candy pills! - So much so that I think they enjoyed getting "wounded" just so they could have some! :) We played G.I. Joes too & my Barbie was the nurse then too! And I was a candystriper in high school. I married my best friend smack out of highschool & we had our first baby when I was nineteen. Now, after 4 children (one in heaven), I've spent a lot of time in doctors offices, urgent care centers & emergency rooms for things such as well baby check-ups, ear infections, stitches, etc - but - I never did become a nurse. Maybe it's best - bc judging by how I react at times when my own children are sick or hurt, I'm not so sure I'd make a very good nurse anyhow! It's like I feel their pain!

Playmaker (my oldest daughter - Sophomore) is leaning toward being a nurse too & I've seriously considered taking the nursing program at the local state college along w/ her - as they have an excellent program - but I'm not sure we'd be able to swing it financially after we will have just finished putting our son thru' college & will likely have one more to go.

Time will tell if I ever become a nurse - or not .... but I can't help but wonder if this book is what inspired me to want to be one in the first place - once upon a time...

P.S. How I wish now that I had saved this book then!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A quick review of (the beauty of !) math

Ok - we've reviewed World Geography & Government. History too actually (below) - great (in my opinion) synopsis w/ an emphasis on what makes our American form of Government so very special & worth preserving - but also so vulnerable - esp. in times like these....

Today, let's brush up on math. I've said before that I like math bc a statement in math is either true or it's not...doesn't matter what you believe in that regard bc that doesn't change anything - & that I also believe math is part of a "code" that when "cracked" leads/points to God - & I've posted this before too - but I just think it's so cool.

(wish I knew the original source - but it's all over the internet & as I see it, God is the source - & I gather whoever took the time to figure it out ended up realizing /concluding what I believe - which is likely why they were compelled to share :) Enjoy...

Beauty of Mathematics !!!!!!!

1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

Brilliant, isn't it?
And look at this symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321

Now, take a look at this...


From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:

What Equals 100%?
What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?

We have all been in situations where someone wants you to

How about ACHIEVING 101%?

What equals 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help
answer these questions:


Is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


H-A-R-D-W-O- R- K

8+1+18+4+23+ 15+18+11 = 98%


K-N-O-W-L-E- D-G-E

11+14+15+23+ 12+5+4+7+ 5 = 96%


A-T-T-I-T-U- D-E

1+20+20+9+20+ 21+4+5 = 100%
THEN, look how far the love of God will take you:
L-O-V-E- O-F- G-O-D

12+15+22+5+15+ 6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:

While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will
get you there, It's the Love of God that will put you over the top!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Government 101

We're one day closer to the start of school. Now that we've done a VERY QUICK review of the nations of the world (previous post - hope you enjoyed that :) ... how about a quick refresher on Government.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Geography - VERY Quick Review

Summer is winding down quickly so the time is right for some quick review before school starts. How about we start w/ Geography.

Quick enough for ya? :)

Wasn't sure if it was going to happen...

I wasn't sure if it was going to happen this time around bc I've been enjoying this summer so much, but - I'm actually/finally/thankfully(!), getting anxious (in a good way!) for school to start again & Strike (Homeschooled - Gr. 7) is too. Playmaker is on the fence (Sophomore - Public High School). Torn. Not quite ready - but she has a couple more weeks before she needs to be.

Yesterday I put the finishing touches on our home education plan for Strike & will pop it in the mail today. She helped choose her curriculum for this yr which is, in part, why I think she's excited.

I'm excited about the year at hand bc I stand to learn even more than usual alongside Strike. In addition to the core subjects, she's taking Latin & French & bc I've never have taken either, I'll need to plow through it w/ her. French became the foreign language of choice when we decided to try to take the "field trip of a lifetime" & go to Senegal, Africa in the spring!! I'm hoping we can work it out so Playmaker can go too (She traveled to Europe when she was homeschooled & WOW !- She gained a different perspective of the world beyond our borders (& what we take for granted - freedoms, luxuries, etc.) that she could not have been given any other way. I can't even imagine all that going to a third world country will teach us!

With the new school year on my mind, I've added some educational gadgets to my blog. Check 'em out :) Since I know there will be days when I lack motivation/inspiration, I added some of that too :) I didn't find a widget I like for art - so I picked a nature one instead since I believe nature is the inspiration of all "good" art :)

That's about all I have for now - so I'll close this post w/ some other people's thoughts ("deep tweets" :) on education that I tend to agree w/.

The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.
Robert M. Hutchin

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.

John Dewey

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Upside Down

I was reading back thru' some old posts today & came across this video I had previously linked to. God used it to speak to me in a fresh way this evening. How awesome that He can even turn upside down things - upside down! :)

Be encouraged.

Note: I originally found it over HERE & linked to it ... check out Bunny's blog. She's got some GREAT stuff there :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Deep Tweets

Blogging challenges me to say as much as possible as clearly as possible using as few words as possible - which makes me wonder if ph I should aspire to tweeting & thereby limit myself to 140 characters(!) - or less (yikes!). But - at times I enjoy rambling & sharing pics so I think I found my niche in blogging & will leave tweeting to the "experts" - tho' it seems so much of what people think is SO important that they just have to share it
NOW w/ whoever will listen, no one really cares about anyhow. But - can you just imagine if George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, C.S. Lewis, Abraham Lincoln, or some of the great poets & philosphers were alive today?! So much of what they penned w/ ink & quill - or other old school writing utensil - was sooo well tho't out before hand & would make profound tweets today(!) ....that just might motivate some to move from the mundane for moment & contemplate something meaningful for a minute!

SOoo- in that spirit -- & in honor of those I believe would have made great tweeters today bc they said some simply profound things in the past that STILL apply & are full of meaning today, I'm starting a new category of posts I'll label "Deep Tweets".
ok ... now - where to start.... How about here:

All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.
- C. S. Lewis

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friends are friends forever if....

Heading over tonight ... I guess to say our official goodbye to dear friends who are moving. My girls & I are "losing" three of our closest friends. Not losing in the sense that we won't be able to see them again but in the sense that we won't be able to see them anytime - as we pretty much do now. Our families have become so close that we're almost like family now & things just won't be the same w/o them nearby.

Who's gonna:

- fill "their pew" in church?
- play the drums in the praise band?
- be willing to chat if I stop over w/ a Dunkin Donuts coolatta unexpectedly
- be willing to chat & offer me tea if I stop over unexpectedly w/o a coolatta in hand
- fill their slot in the food pantry team
- drive for youth group events bc they have the biggest car
- fill their spot in the coffee time ministry
- practically provide a second home/home away from home for my girls
- play in the rain & walk to the store to get a snack, & skateboard & laugh & play & play & laugh w/ my youngest daughter
- talk "boys" (two in particular) w/ my oldest daughter & go on double dates w/ her bc she's not allowed to "really date" yet
- etc. etc. etc....

Praise God that - as Michael W. Smith so eloquently said ... (& it's a good thing it's him saying it bc I'd blubber my way thru' it & probably clean out a box of kleenex in the process) ....

note: the only part I beg to differ w/ is the part where he says "it won't even seem you've gone".

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The natural tendency of everything....

edited...bc after re-reading it myself, I'm not sure it even made sense on my first try :)

The natural tendency of everything is to move from order to disorder*. We are, in a manner of speaking, a dying universe - everything not specifically being protected & upgraded is in a downward spiral - aka the law of disintegration &/or entropy (my note: if you read/viewed this recent post, this may be tho't provoking in & of itself). The only way to postpone/temporarily combat its influence is to invest creative energy and intelligent design in that which is to be preserved*

Dr. Dobson said it so well in answer to a question re: marriage. I just summarized it even further (above) bc it struck me as simply profound & applicable to every aspect of life... work, relationships, environment, church, education, etc:

My tho'ts: Hmmm......

...Interesting - that in order to postpone/temporarily combat "the law of disintegration"
we need to do, to the best of our ability, what our Creator did perfectly the first time/at the beginning of time - using creative energy & intelligent design.

& seems SO obvious that the theory of evolution (continual improvement) makes no sense. Perhaps it's the only conclusion - even tho' it's illogical - when creativity & intelligence (God!) are excluded from the process to understand the universe (science) & instead we attribute it all to "random chance"?

All I know is that in my quest for answers to the really big questions of life I see incredible order, pattern, purpose & beauty that is undeniably obvious from the microscopic to telescopic (ie. have you ever considered how much a single cell resembles the solar system?!) which implies design (& therefore a Designer!). The nature of a/THE Creator (good!) is revealed & allows
so much to make so much more sense - to me. In turn, I'm inspired to invest creative energy & intelligent design in every aspect of life (home/family, politics, business, etc.) to attempt to preserve that which is good. So - please excuse me while I go do just that...

note: This could take a while ... bc I
find contemplating the universe while at the same time feebly trying to combat/postpone the law of disentegration in my corner of it - to be time consuming & exhausting at times (as I tho't this cartoon illustrates so well :) but I'll try to keep ya posted :)

*Focus on the Family Magazine Aug/Sept 2009 - Issue Pg 28

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Picnic w/ a view....

We decided to picnic for dinner. Wanted a "table" w/ a view - but it was quite a hike.

Going UP!

It was worth it though!

WOW!! - would you look at that sea of trees!

These two got into quite the philosophical discussion....the question at hand was
"Does Science prove anything?" Hmmm..... pretty heavy stuff for table talk - but I must say it does look like she knows what she's talkin' about ... doesn't it ? :)

Going DOWN!

And ... what is this?!
... combined w/ the coolness of the evening I'd say that's some early signs that fall is just around the corner.

Quote of the (my) day

"We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."
C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Ooohhh Mr. Beaver....... anyone home????

Wild Blueberries - Sweeeeet!

We saw a family of Canadian Geese, a strange fish, a beaver dam & Hubby saw a big Heron we think .... but this (above) was by far the wildest of the wildlife I saw :) I think he's pretty cute. :)


Aug 10, 2009

Super soft sand,
NO traffic,
CLEAR water
not a pebble to be found on the beach or in the water
plenty of sun... & a ton of fun :)

Cape Ann

us & them

his & hers

me -n- him

him -n- her

one of a kind!


Larry, Curly & Mo

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hidden (in heaven) Treasure

Today was our annual church picnic & baptism at a nearby lake. Out of all the "special" things our church typically does, this one is extra special. So much of what we do is done indoors & just the fact that this time of fellowship & fun is spent outdoors in a beautiful corner of creation makes it extra special - & I love that adults & kids PLAY TOGETHER :) Love it! But - this church picnic was extra-special for us bc one of the girls (I'll call her "Happy") getting baptized asked our youngest daughter to be her prayer partner. It meant praying "publicly" during the service for her (which takes a lot of courage!) & it's a commitment to pray for that person for the rest of their life - ie... it's a BIG commitment for anyone - but esp. for a 12 yr old. I was touched that Happy saw something in Strike that caused her to choose her ... I'm not sure what that was - but inherent in the request was a sense of trust & confidence that turned the simple request into an honor to be asked! :)

Since Strike agreed, I tho't it would be nice to get a special gift for Happy to commemorate such a special occasion. Together we picked out a butterfly necklace & discussed a Bible verse to share along w/ the gift. Strike sweetly wrapped it up & wrote this note to go with it.

Shhh... listen to her heart...

Dear ______,

Thank you for picking me to pray for you at the baptism service. It meant a lot to me. I’m so glad that we are friends. Were both a lot alike. We both like having a good time and we both are pretty goofy but that’s just who we are :), but the most thing that we have in common is that we both LOVE the Lord. And that’s pretty special. :)
I’m glad God made us friends.

This verse below represents the little gift that I have given you.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

2 Corinthians 5:15

Love Your BFF,


Tucked somewhere deep inside all of that - the request, the gift & the note - my husband & I found another one of those rare & precious jewels we find once in a while but often when we least expect to ..the kind I've mentioned before that shine so bright (seen in the smiles they create), & sparkle (in the eyes of the beholder), & are SO clear (in the understanding they convey) .. and they look like --- well - like ... perhaps we're doing somethin' right :) ...


But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Matthew 6:20

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thyme began in a garden

The LORD God took the man and put him in

the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Genesis 2:15

flowers in my garden

a sign in my corner of the world

a favorite book

From the author of the immensely popular The Princess and the Kiss and The Squire and the Scroll comes a lavishly illustrated story about love as it's celebrated in God's Word.

Petra announces to her friend Seth that she wants to grow her own flower garden. He agrees to help her by building a wall to protect the delicate flowers from harm. But it's not easy. Sometimes they don't get along, and the work is even harder than they imagined. Will they give up? Can their friendship last when disaster strikes the garden? In this engaging children's story, healthy friendship grows into committed love as Seth and Petra build their beautiful garden and the wall to protect it. Children learn about having healthy relationships based on 1 Corinthians 13. Recommended for ages 8 and up.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer Delights

sunflower in our backyard
(stare at the that cool or what?! :)

farm & farmers market harvest

preparing peach/blueberry crisp


delightful dinner outdoors
(surprised my husband after a long day at work)


grilled steak & zucchini slices
fresh corn on the cob
tomato cucumber salad
...& a walk around the neighborhood before enjoying
homemade peach/blueberry crisp

Days like today never seem to last long enough :)